The holidays were different this year; more poignant, less frenzied. As a mother of elementary school-aged kids living in Connecticut, it was impossible not to feel the wave of sadness emanating from Newtown. The holiday-cheer-status-quo was elusive, knowing that just miles away, so many families would never have a “status quo” again.
To help peel myself out of the darkness that seemed to be consuming me, I dug deep into family, and wrapped hugs around me like blankets. I also began to look around for “good news.” It’s a little game I play with myself in order to keep from taking to my bed and staying there.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the movement news anchor Ann Curry sparked, encouraging people to do 26 acts of kindness to honor those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. (#26 Acts). It’s been a joy watching so many people reach out to others, and to see the clever ways people have thought of to be kind to one another.
But performing “random acts of kindness” is not a new concept. I’ve seen and and lived examples of this principle for years, and have been grateful each time a moment of kindness entered my life, or that I had a chance to be an agent of kindness myself.
So I got to thinking about people who were on this kindness band wagon, in big ways, before the words Sandy Hook Elementary became so heartbreakingly known to us all.
Kelley Faust is the President and “Chief Hope Officer” of Sunshine Hope, an organization that “creates ways for people to find support and friendship, seek refuge from stress, and feel better about their lives and the world around them.” How cool is that? Here is their mission statement:
Sunshine Hope empowers individuals to live each day to the fullest by helping them build clear minds, healthy bodies and strong spirits. Through our online community, educational and thought-provoking content and inspirational products, we seek to spread hope and add joy to the world, one life at a time.
Kelley has written and published a book called THE SUPERPOWER OF ME. The description on her website says: “This happy, positive little book of possibility reminds children of all ages to believe in the power within themselves, to realize they are strong and resilient, to live, love, and laugh each day.”
Now who wouldn’t want their kid to have a book like that in their library?? Which is why donating a couple of copies of this book to BOOK TRAIN was a no-brainer for me.
Book Train is an organization started by author Lynda Mullaly Hunt, which seeks to “(Help) foster children discover great books, and keep them.” In a very simple process, you send new books to a social worker, who gets them into the hands of a foster child. I absolutely love the idea of giving a foster child something lasting that they can keep.
Lynda’s own novel, ONE FOR THE MURPHYS, tells the story of a foster child who learns how to love and be loved in the home of the Murphy family. One of the themes of the book is the idea that ordinary people can be heros.
So how about you? I hope to take a cue from Kelley and Lynda this year and look for deliberate and lasting ways to help people. What will you do to be someone’s hero in 2013?